DIGITAL TO ANALOG CONVERTERS
In this section, we will discuss a number of methods of realizing DACs. We will study three main classes of DACs: decoderbased DACs, binary weighted DACs, thermometer code DACs.
Decoder based DACs
A typical decoder based DAC consists of a resistor string (acting as a voltage divider) that provides taps for the differentvoltage levels for digital to analog data conversion. One of these voltage taps is selected by a decoder network to connectappropriate voltage tap to the output node. An example of a 3 bit (8 level) DAC is shown in Figure 3.1
Figure 3.1 A 3 bit decoder based DAC using resitor-string and transmission gate decoder.
The decoding network consists of a number of transmission gates that form a switching network. The switching network isconnected in the form of a tree; only one low impedance path connecting one of the resistor string voltage tap point to theoutput node exists. The advantage of using a transmission gate network is that the output voltage will operate at close to thepower supply voltage levels.Instead of transmission gates, we can use a NMOS transistor based decoder; this results in reduced value of voltage swing atthe output node. However the speed of operation may not be severely diminished because of reduced amount of source anddrain capacitance because of the absence of the PMOS transistors. This reduced capacitance can offset for the increasedresistance due to the absence of pMOS transistors of the transmission gates.The resistor string tap points ensure that monotonicity is maintained in the tapped voltage and therefore for the DAC. Theaccuracy of the DAC depends on the matching of these resistors.The delay through the decoding network determines the data conversion speed of the DAC. Each of the transmission gateadds to the resistance of the decoding path and any low impedance path will have N transmission gates that are ON. The
30-Apr-11Digital to Analog Conversion…cnea.gov.ar/…/Digital to Analog Conver…1/7